What are you doing—that you don’t want to be doing—only because you think you should?
Who told you you should do it? Is that really true?
What will realistically happen if you choose love for yourself and for the precious opportunity of this life over this so-called “obligation”?
What steps would be involved in offloading this obligation? How would you feel differently if it was gone from your life?
Is offloading this obligation a fantasy, or is it a realistic possibility?
Recently I found myself asking what my motives were for certain actions. I realized that although not a conscious motive at the time, I have been trying to earn my standing in life. Deep down, I have done what I thought I needed to be done because it is what I believed I should do. Yes, at times there are other motives mixed in with obligation, but I have always felt like I had to earn where I am in life. Like I needed to earn the grace and blessing that God has bestowed upon me. That epiphany saddened my heart, but also helped me to open up the door for change in my life.
There are many things that I continue to do, not because I really want to do them, but because at one point I had said I would do it and letting go seems more like letting others down. I was raised to be a person of my word. I was never taught to speak the conditions and time length what I was giving my word to, just to let “yes” be “yes” and “no” mean “no.”
Now when it is time to move on to new things, bigger things, other things, it feels to me like I am going back on my word. I find that although I am in control of my actions, that I am often driven by past commitments. I feel the need to continue them long past when I feel the need to stop unless there is a natural break that I can use to my advantage.
I realize that this thought pattern is a false one. “Yes” can change to “not any more” over time. Just because at one time something was the right thing to do does not mean it will always be the right thing. Just as there are seasons in the year, there are seasons in life too. It is not okay to force seasons to stay longer than it should or shorten them as an excuse to not uphold your word.
As I make this transition in my thinking, I have to overcome the false feeling guilt when I say “not anymore.” I have to surrender to the fact that I can not live up to other’s expectation of me and be true to who God created me to be. The only sense of duty that I do have is to live my life to the fullest in who God created me to be.
There are several things already that I have been able to exercise my individuality over and the responsibility to be who I was created to be. Some things, I find myself still reluctant to let go of. I must explore why I have such strong ties to things that no long serve where God is leading me. Areas where I am sure dying to self-will be required when I allow God’s grace to free me from obligations I once felt necessary to take.
It is a realistic possibility to be free from what I have felt like I should do. It is one that although I deeply desire to walk in, I know will take time to find the courage to do completely. Offloading what I have held on to long past its seasons and freeing myself to be all that God created me to be.
This post is prompted by
Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders.